Should you buy a car from an auction?
Yeah, well, maybe...
There are lots of different types of auctions. There are auction companies that specialize in buying and selling vehicles, they have acres and acres of parking and are lined up and down with cars. They could be brokering several hundred cars each week through their lot.
These are the type of auctions where car dealers (large and small) come to move inventory. You definitely can score deals, but heads up, you will be competing against the pros. Consider these to be the "major leagues".
I have heard from insiders that "there is a reason that a car gets sent to an auction", so be mindful that you are probably purchasing as-is, at some of these large vehicle auctions, you may not even be allowed to start the vehicle before bidding...
My advise is to scour the smaller auction companies in your area. Try to find an "estate auction", we often sell cars that are late model grocery getters. Low mileage, well maintained, garage kept. They are out there and you will be competing against a much smaller crowd of competition.
There are websites like www.auctionzip.com, www.gotoauction.com, www.auctionguy.com, among others where you can type in keywords and they will show you what is available in your area.